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Young Paralympic stars prepare for Junior Champs

28 February 2014

This weekend’s DSE National Junior And Youth Swimming Championships features one of the strongest line-ups in its history with two Paralympic champions and two IPC World champions set to compete.

London 2012 Paralympic champions Jessica-Jane Applegate (S14) and Josef Craig (S7) will both be competing in the short course event at Ponds Forge, Sheffield and will be joined by Hannah Russell (S12) and Amy Marren (S9) who both joined Applegate and Craig in winning IPC World titles in Montreal last summer.

Click here to follow live results from the DSE National Junior and Youth Swimming Championships.And with more than 200 young swimmers set to join them, Marren – who was one of the star turns in Canada last year with four golds and two silvers – admitted she was looking forward to inspiring the next generation of Paralympic swimmers.

“The thing I like most about these Championships is seeing my friends and meeting new swimmers coming through the rankings,” said Marren.

“It is often the first competition for many disabled swimmers and gives them a great opportunity to build confidence in areas where they didn’t think they had it.

“Sometimes, when you see a new swimmer win a medal, the look on their face is priceless. I’ve been in that position and it really does mean so much to be recognised for your swimming.”

Craig was ParalympicGB’s youngest gold medallist at London 2012 at the age of 15 and later that year was awarded the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year.

And as he prepares to compete at his final DSE Juniors, the 17-year old insists he wants to sign off on a high.

"Personally, I am hoping to get some good swims and maybe some personal bests," - Josef Craig“I’m really looking forward to the weekend as it’s my last year as a junior and I really enjoy seeing the new talent coming through,” said Craig.

“Personally, I am hoping to get some good swims and maybe some personal bests.”

Spectator entry is free of charge during any of the three sessions which take place from 09:00 – 12:00 on Saturday (session one), 14:00 – 17:00 on Saturday (session two) and 09:00 – 13:00 on Sunday (session three).

Follow live results here: http://www.asaner.org.uk/results/2014results/dse14/index.htm

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